No Carb or Cheese Week

I realized my diet consists of mostly carbohydrates, followed closely by cheese. With Spring on the way (at least I hope it is), I am inspired to change my eating habits rather than do a crash diet to shed the winter weight. I noticed my portions have become larger and meals more frequent. I knew what I had to do… shrink my stomach. I have used this tactic before in conjunction with exercise. It also alleviates the feeling of being a stuffed Thanksgiving turkey, with all the fixings. This is about practicing discipline.

No carbs or cheese for a week. I came up with this challenge to see if I could do it and introduce more raw vegetables in my diet, and cut down on the pizza slices. Cheap food is not the healthiest food. Always thought it should be the other way around. It should be a luxury to eat like shit. Quality of life people.

To compensate for the void left, and the needing to eat, I tried to make something I would be excited about. Slow-cooked pulled pork shoulder. It was a lot of fun. I never made pulled pork before. Did a dry-rub of chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, cinnamon and cilantro. I laid the pork shoulder over a bed of garlic cloves, 3 onions, chicken broth & red wine. I left it in the crock pot over night. 8 hours or so. All the juice soaked through it and the fat dripped off. Better than Christmas morning. Put it in the fridge because I had to go to work. That night, I pulled the meat off the bone, set in a deep pan and set the oven to 500 degrees for about 10 minutes, stir up then another 10. I drained the juice and pulled the pieces of pork into smaller pieces. I stirred in bbq sauce with my hands. I then broiled on high 5 minutes, stirred in more bbq sauce and broiled until lightly crisp. I shredded the meat with 2 forks poured on some more sauce. Had trouble restraining myself from eating the whole thing.

So wish me luck. I just had veggie omelette with 2 sausage patties. Salad with grilled chicken on deck. It’s not so bad. Just need to make the meals exciting so you have more faith in the cause.

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Lasagna in a Crock Pot

The winter has forced me to gain some winter weight in order to stay warm. I live in New York City, where you must be out in the elements in negative 9 degrees. This year’s winter weather is especially arctic. I walk a lot and eat a lot, so hopefully that balances out, but it really doesn’t. We experience the fullness of the season whipping past our faces, to remind us that we are nothing but a small part of the circle of life. So we must nourish our existence with passion. Such as a passion to consume fuel that excites us upon anticipation, and ecstasy in the moment that the fragrant perfumes come steaming off the plate. I’m hardly able to wait for the lasagna to cool, often time so impatient, I burn the roof of my mouth. But it just tastes better that way.

This colorful analogy has been inspired by making Lasagna in a Crock Pot this past weekend. I had been meaning to get out the crock pot and try some new recipes and I am Italian, so this jumped out as the first I must try. The ingredients are inexpensive and it is so much easier than baking, even though it takes slightly longer. Low and Slow!  Maximum customization! We can build it faster, stronger and with more layers… can’t forget the massive amount of cheese. Thinking of Garfield, the cat I can now identify with, wanting to eat the entire thing, but unable to physically do so… in one sitting. I waited to digest a full belly of layered pasta, cheese, sauce and meat 3 stories tall. I left the crock pot temperature on low, so after I could feel some space let up, I could eat another helping proportionate to the space available, still hot and gooey!

1. Brown meat and diced onion, drain, add tomato sauce. Mix mozzarella, cottage cheese and Parmesan in a bowl. 2. Spray PAM lightly in crock pot. 3. Layer meat sauce evenly on bottom, followed by broken, uncooked lasagna noodles, and then spoon over with cheese mixture. 4. Repeat layering 3 times, add sauce to the top, then drizzle extra cheese. 5. Leave on LOW for 4-5 hours!

I should stress that it is unhealthy to eat this by yourself, so invite some friends or bring it to a gathering. It is sure to be an instant classic. They will never know how easy it was… unless you tell them!